2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards: ‘We the Animals’ is the top nominee

November 16, 2018

With five nominations, including Best First Feature, “We the Animals” is the leading contender at the 34th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, which will take place in Santa Monica, California, on February 23, 2019. IFC will have a live telecast of the show at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. The Spirit Awards honor independently financed films that were released in U.S. cinemas the previous year.

Other major contenders are “Eighth Grade,” “First Reformed” and “You Were Never Really Here,” which received four nominations each. “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “Leave No Trace,” “Private Life” and “Wildlife” received three nominations each.

Here is the complete list of nominees for the 2018 Spirit Awards:

BEST FEATURE

(Award given to the producer)

Eighth Grade
PRODUCERS: Eli Bush, Scott Rudin, Christopher Storer, Lila Yacoub

First Reformed
PRODUCERS: Jack Binder, Greg Clark, Gary Hamilton, Victoria Hill, David Hinojosa, Frank Murray, Deepak Sikka, Christine Vachon

If Beale Street Could Talk
PRODUCERS: Dede Gardner, Barry Jenkins, Jeremy Kleiner, Sara Murphy, Adele Romanski

Leave No Trace
PRODUCERS: Anne Harrison, Linda Reisman, Anne Rosellini

You Were Never Really Here
PRODUCERS: Rosa Attab, Pascal Caucheteux, Rebecca O’Brien, Lynne Ramsay, James Wilson

BEST FIRST FEATURE

(Award given to the producer and director)

Hereditary
DIRECTOR: Ari Aster
PRODUCERS: Kevin Frakes, Lars Knudsen, Buddy Patrick

Sorry to Bother You
DIRECTOR: Boots Riley
PRODUCERS: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Jonathan Duffy, Charles D. King, George Rush, Forest Whitaker, Kelly Williams

The Tale
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Jennifer Fox
PRODUCERS: Sol Bondy, Lawrence Inglee, Mynette Louie, Oren Moverman, Simone Pero, Reka Posta, Laura Rister, Regina K. Scully, Lynda Weinman

We the Animals
DIRECTOR: Jeremiah Zagar
PRODUCERS: Andrew Goldman, Christina D. King, Paul Mezey, Jeremy Yaches

Wildlife
DIRECTOR: Paul Dano
PRODUCERS:  Andrew Duncan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker, Oren Moverman, Ann Ruark, Alex Saks

BEST DIRECTOR

Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Debra Granik, Leave No Trace
Tamara Jenkins, Private Life
Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here

BEST SCREENPLAY

Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Richard Glatzer (writer, story by), Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Wash Westmoreland, Colette
Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Tamara Jenkins, Private Life
Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Quinn Shephard (writer, story by), Laurie Shephard (story by), Blame
Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade
Christina Choe, Nancy
Jennifer Fox, The Tale
Cory Finley, Thoroughbreds

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD

(Award given to the best feature made for under $500,000; given to the writer, director and producer)

A Bread Factory
WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Patrick Wang
PRODUCERS: Daryl Freimark, Matt Miller

En el Séptimo Dia
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Jim McKay
PRODUCERS: Alex Bach, Lindsey Cordero, Caroline Kaplan, Michael Stipe

Never Goin’ Back
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Augustine Frizzell
PRODUCERS:  Liz Cardenas, Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston

Socrates
WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Alex Moratto
WRITER: Thayná Mantesso
PRODUCERS: Ramin Bahrani, Jefferson Paulino, Tammy Weiss

Thunder Road
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Jim Cummings
PRODUCERS: Natalie Metzger, Zack Parker, Benjamin Weissner

BEST MALE LEAD

Daveed Diggs, Blindspotting
Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
John Cho, Searching
Christian Malheiros, Sócrates
Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Helena Howard, Madeline’s Madeline
Regina Hall, Support the Girls
Glenn Close, The Wife
Carey Mulligan, Wildlife

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Adam Driver, BLACKkKLANSMAN
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Josh Hamilton, Eighth Grade
John David Washington, Monsters and Men
Raúl Castillo, We the Animals

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Tyne Daly, A Bread Factory
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Leave No Trace
J. Smith-Cameron, Nancy
Kayli Carter, Private Life

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Ashley Connor, Madeline’s Madeline
Benjamin Loeb, Mandy
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Suspiria
Zak Mulligan, We the Animals
Diego Garcia, Wildlife

BEST EDITING

Luke Dunkley, Nick Fenton, Chris Gill, Julian Hart, American Animals
Nick Houy, Mid90s
Anne Fabini, Alex Hall, Gary Levy, The Tale
Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates, Jeremiah Zagar, We the Animals
Joe Bini, You Were Never Really Here

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

Burning (South Korea)
DIRECTOR: Lee Chang-Dong

Happy as Lazzaro (Italy)
DIRECTOR: Alice Rohrwacher

Roma (Mexico)
DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón

Shoplifters (Japan)
DIRECTOR: Kore-eda Hirokazu

The Favourite (United Kingdom)
DIRECTOR: Yorgos Lanthimos

BEST DOCUMENTARY

(Award given to the director and producer)

Hale County This Morning, This Evening
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: RaMell Ross
PRODUCERS: Joslyn Barnes, Su Kim

Minding the Gap
DIRECTOR: Bing Liu
PRODUCER: Diane Quon

Of Fathers and Sons
DIRECTOR: Talal Derki
PRODUCERS: Hans Robert Eisenhauer, Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias N. Siebert

On Her Shoulders
DIRECTOR: Alexandria Bombach
PRODUCERS: Hayley Pappas, Brock Williams

Shirkers
DIRECTOR: Sandi Tan
PRODUCERS: Jessica Levin, Maya Rudolph

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Morgan Neville
PRODUCERS: Caryn Capotosto, Nicholas Ma

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD

(Award given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

Suspiria

DIRECTOR: Luca Guadagnino
CASTING DIRECTORS: Avy Kaufman, Stella Savino
ENSEMBLE CAST: Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fokina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, Angela Winkler

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD

(The Truer Than Fiction Award, now in its 24th year, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.) 

Hale County This Morning, This Evening
DIRECTOR: RaMell Ross

Minding the Gap
DIRECTOR: Bing Liu

On Her Shoulders
DIRECTOR: Alexandria Bombach

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD

(The Someone to Watch Award, now in its 24th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.)

Lemonade
DIRECTOR: Ioana Uricaru

Sócrates          
DIRECTOR: Alex Moratto

We the Animals 
DIRECTOR: Jeremiah Zagar

PRODUCERS AWARD

(The Producers Award, now in its 22nd year, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.)

Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams
Gabrielle Nadig
Shrihari Sathe

BONNIE AWARD SPONSORED BY AMERICAN AIRLINES

(Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo joined American Airlines in 1973 at age 24, becoming the first female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline. In her honor, the inaugural Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant, sponsored by American Airlines.)

Karyn Kusama
Tamara Jenkins
Debra Granik

Comcast adds new networks Afro and Cleo TV to cable lineup

November 15, 2018

The following is a press release from Comcast:

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) today announced it has selected two new African American majority owned independent networks to be broadly distributed on Comcast Cable systems beginning in January 2019.  After a thorough evaluation of dozens of proposals, Comcast selected AFRO and CLEO TV, both of which will provide quality entertainment that highlights and features TV and movie content about African American and black communities.

“The offerings from both AFRO and CLEO TV serve as an excellent complement to the growing catalog of programming choices we offer about global black communities,” said Keesha Boyd, Executive Director, Multicultural Products at Comcast Cable. “We remain committed to delivering a wide array of programming by partnering with independent networks, such as the two we’re announcing today, to better serve our increasingly diverse customer base.”

AFRO, a channel from Afrotainment, is a 24-hour polycultural black network mainly broadcasting top-rated Nollywood and black movies, dramas, sitcoms, music, talk, and late-night comedy shows.

“We are excited to bring AFRO’s live content and growing on demand catalog of more than 300 hours of original programming to millions of Xfinity customers. Comcast’s selection of AFRO, which is a recognition of the rich diversity in black content and culture, solidifies our position as a leader in polycultural black home entertainment in North America,” said Yves Bollanga, Founder and CEO of Afrotainment.

CLEO TV is a lifestyle and entertainment network targeting Millennial and Gen X women of color.  Derived from the name Cleopatra, one of the most powerful, trendsetting, rule-breaking and iconic women in history, CLEO TV will offer quality content that defies negative and cultural stereotypes of today’s modern women.  The network promises a unique and diverse offering of short-form and long-form content including travel, home design, cooking, talk shows, movies, docu-series, sitcoms and much more.

“We’re at a pivotal moment in history where women are making a huge impact in our society and culture, especially women of color,” said Michelle Rice, TV One’s General Manager.  “CLEO TV will offer a diverse mix of lifestyle and entertainment content through the unique lens of Millennial and young Gen-X women of color, an audience segment that is currently underserved.  CLEO TV will leverage the comprehensive media platform of our parent company Urban One, Inc. which includes digital, television and radio divisions that will each play an integral role in bringing this new network to the marketplace.  We are grateful to Comcast for the tremendous opportunity to elevate new voices in our industry.”

To narrow down the proposals received, the main criteria Comcast considered were: the content of the network; whether the network is fully financed; whether the network’s ownership and/or management group(s) are well established, have relevant experience, and are substantially owned by African Americans; whether the network is already launched and has existing or potential multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) distribution; price; and whether the network and its potential carriage provide value to Comcast and its customers.

AFRO and CLEO TV will join over 100 diverse networks available across Xfinity platforms, which offered over 14,000 hours of diverse on demand and online programming in 2017. In 2011, as part of Comcast’s commitments made in connection with the NBCUniversal transaction, Comcast agreed to launch 10 new independently owned and operated networks by 2019, including eight that are minority-owned or -operated.  Six minority-owned networks have already launched, including BabyFirst Americas (2012), El Rey (2013), Kids Central (2017), and Primo TV (2017) which are primarily Hispanic American owned and operated; and ASPiRE (2012) and REVOLT (2013) which are majority African American owned. AFRO and CLEO TV will be the next two networks to launch as part of this commitment.

About CLEO TV

Launching in January 2019, CLEO TV is a lifestyle and entertainment network targeting Millennial and Gen X women of color.  Derived from the name Cleopatra, one of the most powerful, trendsetting, rule-breaking and iconic women in history, CLEO TV will offer quality content that defies negative and cultural stereotypes of today’s modern women.  The network promises a unique and diverse offering of short-form and long-form content including travel, home design, cooking, talk shows, movies, docu-series, sitcoms and much more.  CLEO TV is solely owned by Urban One, Inc., formerly known as Radio One, Inc. [NASDAQ: UONE and UONEK, www.urban1.com], the largest African-American owned multi-media company primarily targeting Black and urban audiences. [www.mycleo.tv] 

About Comcast

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal.  Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand, and also provides these services to businesses.  It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the XFINITY brand.  NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.   

2018 Christmas in Rockefeller Center: performers announced

November 15, 2018

Christmas in Rockefeller Center

The following is a press release from NBC:

The most wonderful time of the year kicks off with the annual lighting of New York City’s famous tree on NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center(R)” on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 8-10 p.m. ET/PT. The evening will include festive performances by Diana Ross, Tony Bennett,  Brett Eldredge, Darci Lynne Farmer, Diana Krall, John Legend, Martina McBride, Pentatonix and Kellie Pickler, with a special appearance by Howie Mandel. Additional acts to be announced. NBC’s “Today” anchors Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Craig Melvin will co-host the highly anticipated holiday special.

Prior to the primetime telecast, an additional live hour of the special will be broadcast on select NBC stations (7-8 p.m. ET) and be co-hosted by “Extra’s” Mario Lopez and WNBC’s Stefan Holt and Natalie Pasquarella. Check local listings.

The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to the Great Depression. First erected in 1931, the inaugural tree was decked with 700 lights and placed in front of the then eight-month-old RCA Building (the current Comcast Building). The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating pond. NBC-TV televised the tree lighting for the first time in 1951 on “The Kate Smith Show” and as part of the nationwide “Howdy Doody” television show from 1953-55

The 86th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 72-foot tall, 45-foot wide Norway Spruce from Wallkill, N.Y. The tree weighs approximately 12 tons and is approximately 75 years old.

It will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored LEDs on approximately five miles of wire and topped with a new Swarovski star designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. The new three-dimensional star is 9 feet 4 inches in diameter, weighs approximately 900 pounds and features 70 spikes covered in 3 million Swarovski crystals.

NBCUniversal is celebrating the 10th anniversary of our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, kicking off with “Christmas in Rockefeller Center(R).” As part of the company’s Green is Universal initiative, the campaign will support tree-planting efforts to promote recovery in disaster-stricken areas. NBCUniversal’s $50,000 donation will restore tree canopies across the United States that have been destroyed by recent wildfires and hurricanes. The more than 100,000 trees planted since the partnership’s inception have helped to rebuild forests and communities, as well as provide beautification, cleaner air and water, and restoration of natural habitat.

ABOUT THE HOSTS:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE

Savannah Guthrie is the co-anchor of NBC News’ TODAY and she also serves as NBC News’ chief legal correspondent. Since joining TODAY, she has conducted a wide range of exclusive interviews with newsmakers, including President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power and former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords. Guthrie was a primary anchor for both the network’s primetime 2018 midterm election coverage and the 2016 presidential election coverage. Guthrie has anchored major breaking news events, including the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Las Vegas mass shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris and the 2013 Moore, Okla., tornado. As part of her work on TODAY, she received a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Show in 2012. Guthrie is also a New York Times bestselling author for her books “Princesses Wear Pants” and the sequel “Princesses Save the World.”

HODA KOTB

Hoda Kotb is the co-anchor of NBC News’ TODAY as well as the co-host of TODAY with Kathie Lee and Hoda. Kotb has also been a “Dateline” correspondent since 1998 and covered a variety of domestic and international stories, as well as human-interest pieces and features across all NBC News platforms. Kotb has received numerous awards, including the 2008 Gracie Award for Individual Achievement, the 2008 Alfred I. duPont -Columbia University Award, a Peabody in 2006 and as part of her work on TODAY, a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Show in 2012. She is a New York Times bestselling author for her books “Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer and Kathie Lee,” “Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives” and “I’ve Loved You Since Forever.”

AL ROKER

With a career spanning 35 years, 13-time Emmy-award winner Al Roker is the weather, feature and co-anchor on NBC’s TODAY. Throughout the years, Roker has reported live for TODAY from some of history’s worst storms and natural disasters including Haiti in 2010 and from the Lower Ninth Ward and the French Quarter in New Orleans for a special edition on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. He is a recipient of the American Meteorological Society’s prestigious Seal of Approval and has been a pioneer in the use of computer graphics for weathercasting and as part of his work on TODAY, he received a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Show in 2010. Since 1985, he has served each holiday season as co-host for the annual Christmas at Rockefeller Center and also co-hosts The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Rose Bowl Parade. As CEO of Al Roker Entertainment, he produces programming for traditional TV networks as well as OTT and digital platforms. Roker is also bestselling author with 11 acclaimed books to his credit.

CRAIG MELVIN

Craig Melvin is a news anchor on NBC News’ TODAY and an anchor on MSNBC. His breaking news coverage and reporting appears across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms. Melvin has covered a wide-range of news events, including several Republican and Democratic National Conventions. He has also covered tragic mass shootings across the country for the network, including Dallas and Orlando in 2016; Charleston, South Carolina in 2015; the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. in 2013; and Sandy Hook in 2012. In addition, Melvin reported extensively on police involved shootings and subsequent protests in Baltimore, Maryland in 2015 and Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. Melvin also contributed to NBC Sports coverage of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

ABOUT THE PERFORMERS:

DIANA ROSS

Diana Ross is an American singer, actress and record producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Mich., Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes, which became Motown’s most successful act in the 1960s and one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. Following her departure from the Supremes in 1970, Ross released her debut solo album, which contained the Top 20 Pop hit “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and the No. 1 Pop hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” She later released the album “Touch Me in the Morning” in 1973; its title track reached No. 1, as her second solo No. 1 hit. That same year, her album “Lady Sings the Blues,” which was the original soundtrack of her film based on the life of jazz singer Billie Holiday, went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, selling more than 300,000 copies within its first 8 days of release. By 1976, the “Mahogany” soundtrack included her third No. 1 hit, “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To).” Her 1976 album included her fourth No. 1 hit, “Love Hangover”. In 1979, Ross released the album “The Boss.” Her 1980 semi-eponymous album “Diana” reached No. 2 on the US Billboard albums chart and spawned the No. 1 hit “Upside Down,” and the Top 5 international hit “I’m Coming Out.” Ross’ final single with Motown Records during her initial run with the company achieved her sixth and final US No. 1 Pop hit, the duet “Endless Love.” She is the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Ross has also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award-nominated performance for her performance in the film “Lady Sings the Blues.” She also starred in two other feature films, “Mahogany” and “The Wiz,” later acting in the television films “Out of Darkness,” for which she also was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and “Double Platinum.” Ross was named the “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ross the most successful female music artist in history. She will be performing songs off her new holiday collection, “Wonderful Christmas Time.”

TONY BENNETT

No one in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence than Tony Bennett. In the last 10 years alone he has sold 10 million records. The essence of his longevity and high artistic achievement was imbued in him in his loving childhood home in the Astoria section of Queens where he was born on Aug. 3, 1926. As a teenager Bennett sang while waiting on tables and then enlisted in the Army during World War II and while in Europe he performed with military bands. Bennett’s big break came in 1949 when comedian Bob Hope noticed him working with Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village in New York City. Bennett is one of a handful of artists to have new albums charting in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and now in the first two decades of the 21st century. He has introduced a multitude of songs into the Great American Songbook that have since become standards for popular music. With millions of records sold worldwide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received 19 Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Bennett is also an Emmy Award winner, a Kennedy Center honoree NEA Jazz Master and the first interpretive singer to receive the Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress. An accomplished painter, three of his works are in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute and he has authored six books.

DIANA KRALL

Diana Krall is the only jazz singer to have nine albums debut at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. To date, her albums have garnered five Grammy Awards, 10 Juno Awards and have also earned nine gold, three platinum and seven multi-platinum albums. Krall’s unique artistry transcends any single musical style and has made her one of the most recognizable artists of our time. Born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, which is outside of Vancouver, Krall grew up in the western part of Canada and began studying the piano when she was 4 years old. Krall was still a teenager when she was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1994, she signed with GRP Records and recorded “Only Trust Your Heart,” which marked the beginning of her association with Tommy LiPuma, a collaboration that would continue until LiPuma’s untimely passing in 2017. Krall’s success continued with her subsequent releases “All for You” and “Love Scenes,” but her watershed moment came in 1999 with the release of “When I Look in Your Eyes,” her first release for the historic Verve record label. The recording spent an unprecedented 52 weeks in the #1 position on Billboard’s Jazz chart, won two Grammy Awards and went platinum in the U.S. and Canada. Krall’s next album, “The Look of Love,” continued her international success and became a top 10 seller on Billboard’s Top 200 Album charts. Since then she has released a string of recordings that have created an impressive body of work, including recordings featured in several film soundtracks. Krall has expanded upon her role as a performer to include songwriting, producing and arranging and has brought her talents to collaborate with many other artists, including Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett. She tours extensively around the globe to sold out audiences, appearing at premiere jazz festivals and concert halls throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

BRETT ELDREDGE

Platinum-selling singer/songwriter Brett Eldredge has established himself as one of country music’s smoothest-singing vocal powerhouses, biggest radio heavy hitters and most entertaining, arena-packing showmen. He recently released his latest single, “Love Someone,” from his self-titled record, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and the all-genre Top Albums Sales chart. The record has yielded gold-certified hits “Somethin’ I’m Good At” and most recently, “The Long Way.” The latter tune lends its name to his critically acclaimed and first ever sold-out headlining tour. Eldredge’s live shows feature his six chart-topping, gold and platinum-certified singles spanning three albums. The Paris, Ill., native released his Christmas record “Glow” in 2016 and earned an additional #1 song on the Holiday Music and Adult Contemporary charts with “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” a duet alongside Grammy-winner Meghan Trainor. The deluxe edition, featuring five brand new evergreen tracks, was released in October 2018.

DARCI LYNNE FARMER

Winning NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” at just 12 years old by the most votes for a final performance in the history of the show, singer/ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer impresses audiences across the country with her sweetheart disposition and undeniable, show-stopping talent beyond her years. Accompanied by her musical friends including divaesque rabbit Petunia, shy and soulful mouse Oscar and sarcastic old woman Edna. Singing through her friends helped the young entertainer find a voice inside she didn’t know she had and helped her overcome a lifelong struggle with shyness. An Oklahoma native, Farmer began participating in talent-based pageants at a young age and picked up ventriloquism shortly after. Two weeks later, Farmer began tackling talent shows, eventually making it to the biggest talent show on television, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Following her big win, she has been featured on NBC’s “Little Big Shots,” Food Network’s “Kids Baking Championship,” “Ellen” and “Today.” “Darci Lynne: My Hometown Christmas Special” will air on NBC this December. Farmer and her friends are continually on the road bringing smiles to audiences across the country. In 2019 Farmer will hit the road for her “Fresh Out of the Box Tour.” For dates and the latest information, visit www.darcilynne.com.

JOHN LEGEND

A highly accomplished musician, songwriter, actor, film producer and philanthropist, Legend is one of the most versatile and talented artists in entertainment today. He recently completed the prestigious and highly exclusive EGOT – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony – when he won as producer of NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.” In 2015, Legend, along with Common, won the Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy for their song “Glory” from the film “Selma,” which chronicled the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Ala. The 10-time Grammy winner has released five studio albums and began his impressive Grammy run in 2006 when he won Best New Artist for his debut release, “Get Lifted,” which captured Best R&B Album. “Get Lifted,” along with each of his next three albums – “Once Again,” “Evolver” and “Love in the Future” – reached the Top 5 in album sales on the Billboard charts and achieved gold status. As a film producer, Legend worked on the 2016 film sensation “La La Land,” in which he also appeared. In addition, Legend has acted in several TV and film productions, including “Underground,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Soul Men.” On Broadway, Legend won a Tony last year as a producer of August Wilson’s “Jitney,” which won for Best Revival of a Play.

MARTINA MCBRIDE

Martina McBride is a multiple Grammy-nominated country singer, whose incomparable vocals have kept her at the top of the charts garnering six No. 1 hits and 20 top 10 singles. Selling more than 18 million albums to date, McBride has earned 14 Gold, nine Platinum, three Double Platinum and two Triple Platinum certifications. McBride has been honored with more than 15 major music awards, including four wins from the Country Music Association and three Academy of Country Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year. On October 30, McBride released her new cookbook, “Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life.” Her first book, “Around the Table,” a collection of her favorite recipes, hosting tips, practical menu planning advice and themed décor inspiration, came out in 2014. She also released a new Christmas album in October called “It’s the Holiday Season” featuring her favorite Christmas standards, all with the backing of a symphony. When McBride isn’t in the studio, she focuses her time on charitable causes dear to her heart. Through her Team Music Is Love charity initiative, McBride partners with non-profit causes to help many of the towns she’s performing in. McBride also invites fans to join her team in making the world a better place through the power of music. Since 2011, Team Music Is Love has been responsible for many successful fundraising and volunteer projects helping causes such as hunger relief, cancer research, combating domestic violence and helping children in need. McBride was also recently awarded the Covenant House Beacon of Hope Award and Music Business Association’s prestigious 2015 Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic efforts on behalf of domestic violence.

PENTATONIX

Three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum-selling artist Pentatonix has sold nearly 10 million albums in worldwide consumption and performed for hundreds of thousands of fans at their sold out shows across the globe. Their YouTube channel boasts more than 15.5 million subscribers, yielding over 3.4 billion video views. Their 2015 self-titled album is certified gold after debuting #1 on Billboard’s 200. Additionally, nine of their albums reached the top 10 on Billboard’s 200 chart (two albums reaching No. 1) and received multiple RIAA certifications for multi-platinum, platinum and gold selling albums and singles. Their tracks, “Mary, Did You Know?” and “Hallelujah” were certified platinum, while the Pentatonix original, “Can’t Sleep Love,” was certified gold. The group has had two holiday specials on NBC, released their tour documentary “On My Way Home” in 2015 and appeared in the feature film, “Pitch Perfect 2.” In October 2017, Pentatonix released a deluxe version of their certified platinum 2016 holiday album, “A Pentatonix Deluxe,” and completed their sold-out “A Pentatonix Christmas Tour” in December. The following year, in April 2018, Pentatonix released the first collection in the group’s PTX Presents series, “PTX Presents: Top Pop Vol. 1,” which features 11 PTX-curated modern pop performances, and just wrapped their 39-city North American tour in September. Their fourth holiday album, “Christmas Is Here!” is out now and is accompanied by a new single, “Making Christmas.” They have also announced their “Christmas Is Here! Tour” that starts in November and finishes with four nights at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

KELLIE PICKLER

Kellie Pickler was born and raised in North Carolina and now calls Nashville home. She first won hearts and gained national attention as a top finalist on “American Idol” at the age of 19. Pickler has released four albums – gold-certified “Small Town Girl,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart and was the bestselling debut by a solo country female that year; “Kellie Pickler,” which also debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart and featured her first top 10 hit and the platinum-certified single, “Best Days of Your Life”; “100 Proof,” named the #1 Country Album of the Year by Rolling Stone; and “The Woman I Am.” Her CMT docu-comedy series, “I Love Kellie Pickler,” debuted in 2015, propelling the network to its highest premiere since 2012. After three successful seasons, the series was retired so that Pickler could focus on “Pickler & Ben.” This holiday season Pickler stars in a Hallmark Channel Original Movie “Christmas at Graceland” where she plays a finance executive who rediscovers her passion and talent for singing. The film aired Nov. 17 and Pickler will perform beloved Christmas songs, including “Silent Night,” “Silver Bells,” “First Noel,” “I’ll Be Home for Christ-mas,” “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” Pickler is a “Dancing With the Stars” champion and an avid supporter of our servicemen and women. She has completed 11 USO Tours, performing for those serving abroad.

HOWIE MANDEL

Howie Mandel has remained a constant force in show business for more than 30 years. Mandel will return as host of the game show “Deal or No Deal” when it premieres Dec. 5 on CNBC. For nine seasons he has served as a judge on NBC’s hit summer talent competition series, “America’s Got Talent,” which recently wrapped its milestone 13th season. He will also be seen as a judge on the global winter edition of the series, “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” which will premiere Jan. 7. His additional work as a host, actor, and/or executive producer include “Take It All” and “Howie Do It” for NBC, “Deal With It” for TBS and “Mobbed” for Fox. Previously, Mandel received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program for “Deal or No Deal” and a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Game Show Host for the syndicated version of the show. Mandel’s versatile career has encompassed virtually all aspects of the entertainment spectrum, including television, film and stage. From his work on the Emmy Award-winning “St. Elsewhere,” to the international animated children’s series “Bobby’s World,” Mandel has become a mainstay of the American comedy scene. In 2009, Mandel added author to his resume when he released his frank, funny and no-holds-barred memoir, “Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me.” The memoir revealed his ongoing struggle with OCD and ADHD, and how it has shaped his life and career. It made The New York Times bestseller list on its first week and remained on the list for several consecutive weeks. Mandel has done countless comedy specials both on cable and network television. He has also hosted his own syndicated talk show, “The Howie Mandel Show,” and continues to be a mainstay on the talk show circuit. He also continues to perform as many as 200 standup comedy shows each year throughout the U.S. and Canada.

ABOUT THE REGIONAL SHOW (7-8 P.M. ET) HOSTS:

MARIO LOPEZ

Mario Lopez is the consummate entertainer. He is the host of the Emmy Award winning show “Extra,” and the national iHeart radio programs “On with Mario Lopez” and “iHeartRadio Countdown with Mario Lopez.” Lopez is a constant presence on the pop culture scene with a legion of fans across the board. Actor, NYT Best Selling author, producer and host, Lopez’s prolific career has made him one of the most sought-after personalities in entertainment today. Some of Lopez’s acting credits include This Is Us, Jane the Virgin, Nip/Tuck and Saved by the Bell, among many others. In 2008, Mario Lopez made his Broadway debut as Zach in the revival of A Chorus Line where he met his wife Courtney. Mario and Courtney have two adorable kids, Gia and Dominic and two dogs, Julio and Juanita.

STEFAN HOLT

Stefan Holt co-anchors NBC 4 New York’s 4 p.m and 11 p.m. daily newscasts. He also contributes to NBC 4 New York I-Team investigations throughout the Tri-State area. Holt was one of the first U.S. journalists to report live from Havana following the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro. He also co-anchored NBC 4 New York’s news coverage from the 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University and NBC 4 New York’s 2016 Election Night coverage from 30 Rock. He later travelled to Washington, D.C. to co-anchor the station’s coverage of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. In recognition of his commitment to journalistic excellence, Holt was recognized with a regional Edward R. Murrow award as part of NBC 4 New York’s team coverage of the 2017 Tribeca terrorist attack. Holt has also been recognized with three New York Emmys(R) for NBC 4 New York’s team coverage of the 2016 Hoboken rail crash, 2017 Presidential Inauguration and the 2017 Bronx Lebanon Hospital shooting.

NATALIE PASQUARELLA

Natalie Pasquarella co-anchors NBC 4 New York’s 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. daily newscasts. She also contributes to NBC 4 New York I-Team investigations throughout the Tri-State area. Throughout her time at NBC 4 New York, Pasquarella has covered many of the Tri-State’s most memorable stories. This included the 2015 visit of Pope Francis to New York City and the 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University. Pasquarella also co-anchored NBC 4 New York’s 2016 Election Night coverage from 30 Rock and later travelled to Washington, D.C. to co-anchor the station’s coverage of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. In 2018, Pasquarella travelled to London to cover the 2018 Royal Wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. In recognition of her commitment to journalistic excellence, Pasquarella has been awarded four New York Emmys(R) as part of NBC 4 New York’s team coverage of the 2016 Dallas Police attacks, the 2016 Hoboken rail crash and the 2017 Bronx Lebanon Hospital shooting.

2018 CMA Awards: Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton win big

November 14, 2018

by Carla Hay

Keith Urban was named Entertainer of the Year, while Chris Stapleton won the most prizes (three) at the 52nd Annual CMA Awards, which took place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018. Stapleton was named Male Vocalist of the Year, while his “Broken Halos” single (which he co-wrote) was named Song of the Year and Single of the Year.

Carrie Underwood, who hosted the CMA Awards for the 11th consecutive year with Brad Paisley, took the prize for Female Vocalist of the Year. Kasey Musgraves was the only other female artist to win at the 2018 CMA Awards: She won Album of the Year for “Golden Hour.”

Other winners were Old Dominion (Group of the Year), Brothers Osborne (Duo of the Year) and Mac McAnally (Musician of the Year).

Performers included Urban, Stapleton with Maren Morris, Underwood, Paisley, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Dan + Shay, Old Dominion, Dierks Bentley with Brothers Osborne, Florida Georgia Line with Bebe Rexha, Kacey Musgraves, Pistol Annies, Thomas Rhett, Eric Church, Lauren Alaina, Brad Paisley, Ricky Skaggs and Mavis Staples.

Presenters included Jimmie Allen, Bobby Bones, Kane Brown, Sharna Burgess, Olivia Culpo, Mackenzie Foy, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Dustin Lynch, Martina McBride and Carly Pearce, Dennis Quaid, Lionel Richie, Noah Schnapp, Lara Spencer, Rita Wilson and Trisha Yearwood.

Here is the complete list of nominees and winners of the 2018 CMA Awards:

*=winner
Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Kenny Chesney
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban*

Single of the Year
Award goes to artist, producer(s) and mix engineer(s)

Chris Stapleton – “Broken Halos”*
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

Midland – “Drinkin’ Problem”
Producers: Dann Huff, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
Mix Engineer: Justin Niebank

Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert – “Drowns the Whiskey”
Producer: Michael Knox
Mix Engineer: Jeff Braun

Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line – “Meant to Be”
Producer: Willshire
Mix Engineer: Serban Ghenea

Dan + Shay – “Tequila”
Producers: Scott Hendricks, Dan Smyers
Mix Engineer: Jeff Juliano

Album of the Year
Award goes to artist and producer(s)

Chris Stapleton – “From a Room: Volume 2”
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton

Kacey Musgraves – “Golden Hour”*
Producers: Ian Fitchuk, Daniel Tashian, Kacey Musgraves

Keith Urban – “Graffiti U”
Producers: Keith Urban, Dan McCarroll, J.R. Rotem, Josh Kerr, Jason Evigan, Greg Wells, Benny Blanco, Ed Sheeran, Johnny McDaid, Jesse Shatkin, Jimmy Robbins, Oscar Holter, Matt Rad, Eric Valentine, Ian Kirkpatrick, Mike Elizondo, Captain Cuts, Ross Copperman, Dann Huff, Peter Karlsson

Thomas Rhett – “Life Changes
Producers: Julian Bunetta, Jesse Frasure, Dann Huff, Joe London, Thomas Rhett

Dierks Bentley – “The Mountain”
Producers: Ross Copperman, Jon Randall Stewart, Arturo Buenahora Jr.

Song of the Year
Award goes to songwriter(s)

“Body Like a Back Road”
Songwriters: Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne

“Broken Halos”*
Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton

“Drowns the Whiskey”
Songwriters: Brandon Kinney, Jeff Middleton, Josh Thompson

“Drunk Girl”
Songwriters: Scooter Carusoe, Tom Douglas, Chris Janson

“Tequila”
Songwriters: Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds, Dan Smyers

Female Vocalist of the Year
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood*

Male Vocalist of the Year
Dierks Bentley
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton*
Keith Urban

Vocal Group of the Year
Lady Antebellum
LANCO
Little Big Town
Midland
Old Dominion*

Vocal Duo of the Year
Brothers Osborne*
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae
Sugarland

Musician of the Year
Jerry Douglas, Dobro
Paul Franklin, Steel Guitar
Dann Huff, Guitar
Mac McAnally, Guitar*
Derek Wells, Guitar

Award winners announced prior to the 2018 CMA Awards telecast:

Musical Event of the Year
Award goes to each artist

Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne – “Burning Man”
Maren Morris featuring Vince Gill – “Dear Hate”
Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert – “Drowns the Whiskey”
David Lee Murphy with Kenny Chesney – “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”*
Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line – “Meant to Be”

Music Video of the Year
Award goes to artist and director(s)

Sugarland featuring Taylor Swift – “Babe”
Director: Anthony Mandler

Carrie Underwood– “Cry Pretty”
Director: Randee St. Nicholas

Chris Janson – “Drunk Girl”
Director: Jeff Venable

Thomas Rhett – “Marry Me”*
Director: TK McKamy

Dan + Shay – “Tequila”
Director: Patrick Tracy

New Artist of the Year
Lauren Alaina
Luke Combs*
Chris Janson
Midland
Brett Young

Broadcast Personality of the Year

National
“American Country Countdown” (Kix Brooks) – Westwood One
“Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40” (Bob Kingsley) – Westwood One
“Country Countdown USA” (Lon Helton) – Westwood One*
“The Mayor of Music Row” (Charlie Monk) – Sirius XM Satellite Radio
“The Music Row Happy Hour” (Buzz Brainard) – Sirius XM Satellite Radio

Major Market
“Bud and Broadway” (Bud Ford, Jerry Broadway, Kelly Rebal, “Captain Mac Douglas” Gregory Paul Ford, “T.Wall” Tom Wall, and “Sweet Becca” Walls) – WIL St. Louis, MO*
“Double-L” (Lois Lewis) – KNIX Phoenix, AZ
“Hawkeye in the Morning” (“Hawkeye” Mark Louis Rybczyk, Jasmine Sadry, and “Connected K” Katelyn Maida) – KSCS Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
“KYGO Morning Show” (Tracy Dixon, Guy David, and Patrick Knight) – KYGO Denver-Boulder, CO
“Tim, Ben and Brooke” (Tim Hattrick, Ben Campbell, and Brooke Hoover) – KNIX Phoenix, AZ

Large Market
“Jim, Deb & Kevin” (Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt, and Kevin Freeman) – WFMS Indianapolis, IN*
“Obie & Ashley in the Morning” (Obie Diaz and Ashley Stegbauer) – WWKA Orlando, FL
“Q Morning Crew” (Mike Wheless and Janie Carothers) – WQDR Raleigh-Durham, NC
“The Randy, Jamie, and Jojo Show” (Randy Carroll, Jamie Martin, and Jojo Meza) – KAJA San Antonio, TX
“Ridder, Scott and Shannen” (“Ridder” Shaun Ridderbush, Scott Dolphin, and Shannen Oesterreich) – WMIL Milwaukee-Racine, WI

Medium Market
“The 97.5 WPCV Breakfast Club” (Roger Todd, “Julie K.” Kansy, and “D.J. Thee Trucker” Dale Sellers) – WPCV Lakeland-Winter Haven, FLA
Brent Michaels – KUZZ Bakersfield, CA
“Ken, Kelley, and Daniel” (Ken Hicks, Kelley Bradshaw, and Daniel Wyatt) – WUSY Chattanooga, TN*
“The Odd Squad” (Roger Rhodes, Robyn Adair, and Dan Carson) – CKRY Calgary, AB
“Scott and Sarah in the Morning” (Scott Wynn and Sarah Kay) – WQMX Akron, OH

Small Market
“Barrett, Fox & Berry” (Bill Barrett, Tim Fox, and Tracy Berry) – KKNU Eugene-Springfield, OR
“The Cat Pak Morning Show” (Brent Lane and Candy Cullerton) – WYCT Pensacola, FL
“The Eddie Foxx Show” (Eddie Foxx and Sharon Green) – WKSF Asheville, NC
“The Good Morning Guys” (Todd Harding, Susan Moore, and Brian Gary) – KUAD Ft. Collins-Greeley, CO
“Steve and Jessica Mornings” (Steve Waters and Jessica Cash) – WFLS Fredericksburg, VA*

Radio Station of the Year

Major Market
KKBQ Houston-Galveston, TX*
KNIX Phoenix, AZ
KUPL Portland, OR
WKKT Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC
WSOC Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC

Large Market
KCYY San Antonio, TX
KUBL Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, UT
WQIK Jacksonville, FL
WUBE Cincinnati, OH*
WWKA Orlando, FL

Medium Market
KUZZ Bakersfield, CA
WBBS Syracuse, NY
WHKO Dayton, OH
WUSY Chattanooga, TN*
WYRK Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY

Small Market
KCLR Columbia, MO
KKNU Eugene-Springfield, OR
KTTS Springfield, MO*
WCOW La Crosse, WI
WKSF Asheville, NC

2018 CMA Awards: early winners announced for music video, musical event categories

November 14, 2018

The following is a press release from ABC:

Winners in the Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year categories for “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards” were revealed live on “Good Morning America” this morning. See the big reveal here. Kenny Chesney and David Lee Murphy won Musical Event of the Year for “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.” Music Video of the Year went to Thomas Rhett and director TK McKamy for “Marry Me.” “Good Morning America”‘s Lara Spencer has also been added as a presenter for Country Music’s Biggest Night, hosted for the 11th consecutive year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, and airing live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville tonight (8:00 – 11:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network.

Previously announced broadcast awards winners will be acknowledged during the live telecast.

CMA BROADCAST AWARDS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR WINNERS:

NATIONAL

“Country Countdown USA” (Lon Helton) – Westwood One

MAJOR MARKET

“Bud and Broadway” (Bud Ford, Jerry Broadway, Kelly Rebal, “Captain Mac Douglas” Gregory Paul Ford, “T.Wall” Tom Wall, and “Sweet Becca” Walls) – WIL, St. Louis, MO

LARGE MARKET

“Jim, Deb & Kevin” (Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt, and Kevin Freeman) – WFMS, Indianapolis, IN

MEDIUM MARKET

“Ken, Kelley, and Daniel” (Ken Hicks, Kelley Bradshaw, and Daniel Wyatt) – WUSY, Chattanooga, TN

SMALL MARKET

“Steve and Jessica Mornings” (Steve Waters and Jessica Cash) – WFLS, Fredericksburg, VA

CMA BROADCAST AWARDS RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR WINNERS: 

MAJOR MARKET

KKBQ – Houston-Galveston, TX

LARGE MARKET

WUBE – Cincinnati, OH

MEDIUM MARKET

WUSY – Chattanooga, TN

SMALL MARKET

KTTS – Springfield, MO

Netflix teams up with Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, T.I. for hip-hop competition ‘Rhythm + Flow’

November 13, 2018

The following is a press release from Netflix:

Global superstars Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, and T.I. will search for the next breakout hip-hop star in “Rhythm + Flow,” Netflix’s first music competition show set to debut in 2019.

The series—produced by John Legend, Jeff Gaspin, Jesse Collins, Nikki Boella, Jeff Pollack, Mike Jackson, and Ty Stiklorius—will bring together the biggest names in music to find fresh talent and help undiscovered hip-hop artists pursue their dreams.

Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, and T.I. will serve as the three main judges for the competition, joining forces with additional artists and industry VIPs to be announced in the coming weeks.

The multi-city competition will unfold over 10 hour-long episodes beginning in fall 2019.

Auditions will begin this fall across the United States, including the judges’ hometowns of Atlanta, Chicago, and New York.  In each audition city, established rappers who hail from that city will serve as guest judges to help seek out the best unsigned hip-hop artists.  Learn more about how to audition at www.RhythmAndFlowAuditions.com.

Production Companies: Jesse Collins Entertainment, Get Lifted Film Co., and Gaspin Media.

Executive Producers: Jesse Collins for Jesse Collins Entertainment; John Legend, Mike Jackson, and Ty Stiklorius for Get Lifted Film Co.; Jeff Gaspin for Gaspin Media; Nikki Boella; Jeff Pollack; Cardi B; Chance the Rapper; and T.I.

About Jesse Collins Entertainment

Jesse Collins Entertainment (JCE) is a full service television and film production company founded by entertainment industry veteran Jesse Collins. For over a decade, Collins has played an integral role in producing many of television’s most memorable moments in music entertainment.  Collins has produced ground-breaking and award winning television programming including the BET Awards, the Grammy Awards, Soul Train Awards, BET Honors, UNCF An Evening of Stars, ABFF Honors and the BET Hip Hop Awards. Collins was an executive producer of the hit TV series “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” starring Kevin Hart, and both the critically-acclaimed mini-series “The New Edition Story” and “The Bobby Brown Story” that reached nearly 50 million total viewers.  He is also the executive producer of the VH1 shows “Dear Mama” and “Hip Hop Squares” with Ice Cube.

About Get Lifted Film Co.

Get Lifted Film Co. is a film and television production company based in Los Angeles, with principals John Legend, Mike Jackson, and Ty Stiklorius.   They executive produced WGN America’s critically acclaimed drama “Underground,” and served as executive producers on Pop Network’s docu-series “Sing It On.” They also executive produced HBO Documentary “Southern Rites.” Most recently they served as executive producers on NBC Live’s “Jesus Christ Superstar,” for which they won a 2018 Emmy Award. They are currently in pre-production on their Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahudin created IFC series “Sherman’s Showcase.” Additionally, they served as executive producers on Damien Chazelle’s Oscar-winning musical “La La Land,” and the Obama romance “Southside With You.” Get Lifted made an impressionable foray into theatre in 2016, producing the audience-favorite “Turn Me Loose,” an off-Broadway one-man play about the life of iconic comedian Dick Gregory. In 2017, Get Lifted co-produced Broadway’s August Wilson play “Jitney,” which won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. Most recently their documentary “United Skates” won the 2018 Audience Award at Tribeca Film Festival and will premiere on HBO in 2019.

About Gaspin Media

Gaspin Media is a production company formed by former Chairman of NBC Universal TV,  Jeff Gaspin. Gaspin Media produces scripted and unscripted content for Broadcast, Cable,  Streaming and digital platforms. A Two-time Emmy nominee for “Behind the Music,” Gaspin Is currently executive producer on “LA’s Finest,” staring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba, for Spectrum’s OTT platform, and “To Tell the Truth,” which is entering it’s fourth season on ABC.  Additionally, Gaspin has series in development at Showtime, Amazon, Fox Network and Lifetime. Over the past five years, Gaspin Media has produced over a dozen series including “Fit To Fat” for A&E, “First Impressions” with Dana Carvey for USA and “Match Made in Heaven” for WEtv.

About Jeff Pollack

Jeff Pollack has worked on over 40 films, five of which received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song. The “Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart,” starring Jeff Bridges, went on to win the award. Recently, Pollack was a producer on the Emmy-nominated HBO film about Frank Sinatra “All or Nothing At All.” He was also an associate producer on the film Glen Campbell “I’ll Be Me,” which featured two Grammy-winning songs, including “I’m Not Going to Miss You,” later nominated for a Best Song Oscar. He was a producer on the film “Satan & Adam” which premiered earlier this year at Tribeca Festival, and is an executive producer on a new Johnny Cash film to be released in 2019.

About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with 130 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics’ most influential icon, dead at 95

November 12, 2018

by Carla Hay

Stan Lee (Photo courtesy of Tinseltown Shutterstock)

Stan Lee, a co-creator of numerous iconic Marvel Comics characters, including Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk, died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on November 12, 2018, according to the Associated Press. He was 95.

Lee (whose real name was Stan Lieber) was born in New York City, and began his career in 1939 as an illustrator’s assistant/gopher at Timely Comics (which would later morph into Atlas Comics and then Marvel Comics), eventually rising to editor-in-chief in 1941 and publisher in 1972. Along with several collaborators (including Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Larry Lieber and Don Heck), Lee co-created the characters that became Marvel’s most famous and the basis of most of the mega-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies.  In addition, to Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk, Lee was a co-creator of such Marvel characters as Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Thor, Black Panther, X-Men, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Nick Fury, Daredevil, Hawkeye, Black Widow and War Machine. The Avengers are a group of superheroes that were mostly co-created by Lee, who helped Marvel’s business expand into movies and television, with Lee being a producer or executive producer on the vast majority of film and TV releases with Marvel characters.

Lee had cameos in all of the MCU movies that were made before his death, from 2008’s “Iron-Man” to the still-untitled fourth “Avengers” movie that is set for release in 2019. He also had cameos in Sony Pictures’ movies starring Marvel characters (such as all of the “Spider-Man” movies and 2018’s “Venom”), as well as Fox’s movies starring Marvel characters, such as the “X-Men” series, the “Fantastic Four” movies, the “Deadpool” movies, 2003’s “Daredevil” and several Marvel-related TV series.

In the 1990s, Lee left his position as Marvel Comics publisher, but for the rest of his life, he was still tied to Marvel as chairman emeritus and as a producer/executive producer on various Marvel-related projects. He and Peter Paul co-founded the company Stan Lee Media in 1998, but the company filed for bankruptcy in 2001, after a stock-manipulation scandal that did not involve Lee but involved Paul, who eventually pled guilty to the crime. Lee then went on to co-found POW! Entertainment in 2001. Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009.

The last two years of Lee’s life were filled with grief and turmoil. In 2017, his wife, Joan, died at the age of 95, after 39 years of marriage. He was also caught up lawsuits and counter-lawsuits surrounding control of POW! Entertainment and his estimated $70 million fortune. (Lee’s $1 billion lawsuit against POW! Entertainment was dropped in July 2018, two months after the lawsuit was filed.) And there were stories of abuse and Lee’s alleged mental-health issues, with Lee accused of being both an abuser and a victim. A former caregiver claimed that Lee sexually harassed her, while a separate accusation claimed that he was the target of elder abuse by caregivers.

Before his health problems, Lee was an active and regular fixture at comic conventions around the world. From 2012 to 2018, Lee’s POW! Entertainment partnered with Comikaze Expo to present the Los Angeles comic convention Stan Lee’s Comikaze, which in 2016 was renamed Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con. In October 2018, Comikaze announced the end of its partnership with Lee and POW! Entertainment, and the event has been renamed Beyond Fest Expo LA. Lee’s last major public appearance was at the Los Angeles premiere of “Avengers: Infinity War” on April 23, 2018. Lee is survived by his daughter Joan Celia “J. C.” Lee.

2018 CMA Awards: presenters announced

November 12, 2018

The following is a press release from the Country Music Association and ABC:

Country artist Jimmie Allen, nationally syndicated personality Bobby Bones, country artist Kane Brown, ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars’” Sharna Burgess, model and actress Olivia Culpo, Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’” Mackenzie Foy, country artists Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Dustin Lynch, Martina McBride and Carly Pearce, singer/actor Dennis Quaid, ABC’s “American Idol” judge Lionel Richie, actor Noah Schnapp, singer/songwriter, actress and producer Rita Wilson and country artist Trisha Yearwood are set to present at “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards.” Country Music’s Biggest Night, hosted for the 11th consecutive year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, airs live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Wednesday, Nov. 14 (8:00 – 11:00 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network.
CMA Awards Vocal Group of the Year nominee LANCO will also host the pre-telecast portion of the night. They will be introduced to the stage by CMA’s inaugural KixStart Artist Scholarship recipients Kassi Ashton, Travis Denning and Jameson Rodgers. During the pre-telecast, the winner for Musician of the Year will be awarded, as well as the winners of the previously announced broadcast awards categories.

In addition to Dan + Shay’s live performance on the CMA Awards, the duo will also deliver an encore performance of “Speechless” for Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers exclusively on Xfinity On Demand. Immediately following the telecast, customers can access the encore performance simply by saying “Show me Dan + Shay” into their X1 Voice Remote. For more information on Xfinity X1, visit Xfinity.com/x1.

Don’t miss Facebook Live interviews with your favorite Country artists on CMA’s Facebook page Monday, Nov. 12, and Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 10:00 AM – 4:00 p.m. EST as artists stop by the CMA Awards Radio Remote in Nashville.
Previously announced performers for the CMA Awards include Lauren Alaina, Jason Aldean with Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley with Brothers Osborne, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line with Bebe Rexha, Midland, Kacey Musgraves, Old Dominion, Paisley, Pistol Annies, Thomas Rhett, Ricky Skaggs, Chris Stapleton with Maren Morris and Mavis Staples, Underwood, Keith Urban and Brett Young, as well as special appearances by Lindsay Ell, Vince Gill, Sierra Hull, Chris Janson, Ashley McBryde, David Lee Murphy, Jon Pardi, Carson Peters, Marty Stuart, and Cole Swindell.

CMA sat down with the five New Artist of the Year nominees and the people closest to them to learn more about them and their journey to the CMA Awards. To view all five full episodes featuring Alaina, Combs, Janson, Midland and Young, please visit CMAawards.com/new-artist-nominees.

“The 52nd Annual CMA Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the executive producer, Gary Halvorson is the director and David Wild is the head writer.

For more information on “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards,” please visit CMAawards.com and follow CMA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Fans can listen to playlists featuring CMA Awards nominees and performers, on Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, and Vevo. To celebrate “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards,” the official merchandise line, featuring tees, sweatshirts and other gifts, is now available online.

About CMA Awards

The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast for the first time – making it the longest running, annual music awards program on network television. The CMA Awards have aired on ABC since 2006. ABC is the network home of the CMA Awards and CMA’s other two television properties, “CMA Fest” and “CMA Country Christmas.”

Follow ABC Publicity on Twitter and Instagram.
Facebook: @cma
Twitter: @CountryMusic
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2018 E! People’s Choice Awards: ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ ‘Shadowhunters,’ BTS are top winners

November 11, 2018

by Carla Hay

People's Choice Awards

“Avengers: Infinity War” co-stars Danai Gurira, Scarlett Johansson and Pom Klementieff at the 2018 E! People’s Choice Awards at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, on November 11, 2018. (Photo byTodd Williamson/E! Entertainment)

 

The Marvel superhero movie “Avengers: Infinity War,” the Freeform sci-fi TV series “Shadowhunters” and Korean boy band BTS were among the biggest winners the 2018 E! People’s Choice Awards, which took place Nov. 11 at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. E! and other NBCUniversal-owned cable networks the U.S. telecast of the show at 9 p.m. ET/PT. For years, the show previously aired in January on CBS.

With six nominations, “Avengers: Infinity War” was the leading contender going into the ceremony and ended up winning three prizes: Movie of 2018, Action Movie of 2018 and Female Movie Star of 2018 (for Scarlett Johansson).

Write-in votes played a huge role in  BTS and “Shadowhunters” getting nominations.  Four out of the five nominations for the canceled “Shadowhunters,” whose final episodes will premiere in 2019, came from write-in votes. “Shadowhunters” won all four of those awards: Show of 2018; Male TV Star of 2018 (for Harry Shum Jr.); and Female TV Star of 2018 (for Katherine McNamara); and Bingeworthy Show of 2018. BTS won four prizes: Group of 2018 and Social Celebrity of 2018, while the group’s “Idol” received the prizes for Song of 2018 and Video of 2018. BTS did not attend the ceremony but sent a pre-recorded acceptance speech instead.

The show had musical performances from Nicki Minaj, Rita Ora and John Legend. Minaj featuring Tyga performed “Good Form” and Dip,” while Ora sang “Let You Love Me.” Legend performed a piano cover version of U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love),” after introducing the inaugural prize of People’s Champion of 2018 to activist Bryan Stevenson. Also new this year were the awards for People’s Icon of 2018 (which went to Melissa McCarthy) and the People’s Fashion Icon of 2018 (which went to Victoria Beckham).

Presenters included Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Kat Graham, Darren Criss, Jimmy Fallon, Busy Philipps, Terry Crews, Chrissy Teigen, Jack McBrayer, Ryan Eggold, Sabrina Carpenter, Lil Rel Howery, Christina Hendricks, Retta, Mae Whitman, Alison Janney, Aly Raisman, Taran Killam, Sara Gulbert, Johnny Galecki, Betty Gilpin, Amber Valetta, Camila Mendes, Susan Kelechi Watson, Damon Wayans Jr., Amber Stevens West and Shay Mitchell.

Online voting for the winners took place from Sept. 24 to Oct. 19. As previously reported, there were 13 new categories this year. Complete rules can be found at: https://www.eonline.com/ peoples_choice_awards/rules

The E! People’s Choice Awards were produced by Wilshire Studios and Den of Thieves with executive producers Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager.  

Here’s a breakdown of some of the snubs and surprises, with all the nominees listed at the end of this article.

Here’s the complete list of winners and nominees for the E! People’s Choice Awards.

*=winner

+=write-in nominee

People’s Icon of 2018
Melissa McCarthy

Fashion Icon of 2018
Victoria Beckham

People’s Champion of 2018
Bryan Stevenson

MOVIES

Movie of 2018
“A Quiet Place”
“Avengers: Infinity War” *
“Black Panther”
“Fifty Shades Freed”
“Incredibles 2”

Comedy Movie of 2018
“Blockers”
“Crazy Rich Asians”
“Love, Simon”
“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”
“The Spy Who Dumped Me”*

Action Movie of 2018
“Avengers: Infinity War”*
“Black Panther”
“Deadpool 2”
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”
“Ocean’s 8”

Drama Movie of 2018
“12 Strong”
“A Quiet Place”
“Fifty Shades Freed”*
“Midnight Sun”
“Red Sparrow”

Family Movie of 2018
“A Wrinkle in Time”
“Christopher Robin”
“Hotel Transylvania 3”
“I Can Only Imagine”
“Incredibles 2″*

Male Movie Star of 2018
Chadwick Boseman, “Black Panther”*
Chris Hemsworth, “Avengers: Infinity War”
Chris Pratt, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”
Nick Robinson, “Love, Simon”
Robert Downey Jr., “Avengers: Infinity War”

Female Movie Star of 2018
Anne Hathaway, “Ocean’s 8”
Bryce Dallas Howard, “Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom”
Lily James, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”
Sandra Bullock, “Ocean’s 8”
Scarlett Johansson, “Avengers: Infinity War”*

Drama Movie Star of 2018
Chris Hemsworth, “12 Strong”
Emily Blunt, “A Quiet Place”
Jamie Dornan, “Fifty Shades Freed”*
Jennifer Lawrence, “Red Sparrow”
John Krasinski, “A Quiet Place”

Comedy Movie Star of 2018
Amanda Seyfried, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”
John Cena, “Blockers”
Melissa McCarthy, “Life of the Party”*
Mila Kunis, “The Spy Who Dumped Me”
Nick Robinson, “Love, Simon”

Action Movie Star of 2018
Chadwick Boseman, “Black Panther”
Chris Hemsworth, “Avengers: Infinity War”
Chris Pratt, “Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom”
Danai Gurira, “Black Panther”*
Ryan Reynolds, “Deadpool 2”

TV

Show of 2018
“13 Reasons Why”
“Grey’s Anatomy”
“The Big Bang Theory”
“Shadowhunters” +*
“This Is Us”

Drama Show of 2018
“13 Reasons Why”
“Grey’s Anatomy”
“Riverdale”*
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“This Is Us”

Comedy Show of 2018
“Black-ish”
“Modern Family”
“Orange Is the New Black”*
“The Big Bang Theory”
“The Good Place”

Revival Show of 2018 
“American Idol”
“Dynasty”*
“Jersey Shore: Family Vacation”
“One Day at a Time”
“Queer Eye”

Reality Show of 2018
“Chrisley Knows Best”
“Jersey Shore: Family Vacation”
“Keeping Up With the Kardashians”*
“Queer Eye”
“Vanderpump Rules”

Competition Show of 2018
“America’s Got Talent”
“Big Brother”
“Ellen’s Game of Games”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race”
“The Voice”*

Male TV Star of 2018
Andrew Lincoln, “The Walking Dead”
Cole Sprouse, “Riverdale”
Freddie Highmore, “The Good Doctor”
Harry Shum Jr., “Shadowhunters” +*
Justin Chambers, “Grey’s Anatomy”

Female TV Star of 2018
Camila Mendes, “Riverdale”
Ellen Pompeo, “Grey’s Anatomy”
Katherine McNamara, “Shadowhunters” +*
Mandy Moore, “This Is Us”
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”

Drama TV Star of 2018
Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
Ellen Pompeo, “Grey’s Anatomy”
Katherine Langford, “13 Reasons Why”
KJ Apa, “Riverdale”
Mariska Hargitay, “Law & Order: SVU”*

Comedy TV Star of 2018
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
Drew Barrymore, “Santa Clarita Diet”
Jim Parsons, “Big Bang Theory”*
Kristen Bell, “The Good Place”
Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family”

Daytime Talk Show of 2018
“Live With Kelly and Ryan”
“Red Table Talk”
“Steve”
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show”*
“The Real”

Nighttime Talk Show of 2018
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah”
“The Late Late Show With James Corden”
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”*
“Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen”

Competition Contestant of 2018 
Brynn Cartelli, “The Voice”
Cody Nickson, “The Amazing Race”
Eva Igo, “World of Dance”
Maddie Poppe, “American Idol”*
Nikki Bella, “Dancing With the Stars”

Reality TV Star of 2018 
Antoni Porowski, “Queer Eye”
Joanna Gaines, “Fixer Upper”
Khloe Kardashian, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”*
Nikki Bella, “Total Bellas”
Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio, “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation”

Bingeworthy Show of 2018 
“13 Reasons Why”
“Outlander” +
“Queer Eye”
“Shadowhunters” +*
“Shameless”

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2018
“Shadowhunters”
“Supernatural”
“The Expanse”
“The Originals”
“Wynonna Earp” +*

MUSIC

Male Artist of 2018
Bruno Mars
Drake
Ed Sheeran
Keith Urban
Shawn Mendes*

Female Artist of 2018
Ariana Grande
Camila Cabello
Cardi B
Nicki Minaj*
Taylor Swift

Group of 2018
5 Seconds of Summer
BTS*
Panic! At the Disco
Super Junior +
Twenty One Pilots

Song of 2018
“No Tears Left to Cry,” Ariana Grande
“I Like It,” Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin
“Idol,” BTS +*
“Back to You,” Selena Gomez
“In My Blood,” Shawn Mendes

Album of 2018
Sweetener, Ariana Grande
Camila, Camila Cabello
Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B
Queen, Nicki Minaj*
Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes

Country Artist of 2018
Blake Shelton*
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban
Luke Bryan
Thomas Rhett

Latin Artist of 2018
Bad Bunny
Becky G
CNCO*
J Balvin
Shakira

Music Video of 2018 
“No Tears Left to Cry,” Ariana Grande
“Idol,” BTS +*
“Never Be the Same,” Camila Cabello
“This Is America,” Childish Gambino
“Back to You,” Selena Gomez
Concert Tour of 2018 
On the Run II Tour, Beyoncé & Jay-Z
Piece of Me Tour, Britney Spears
Witness Tour, Katy Perry
Super Show 7, Super Junior +
Reputation Tour, Taylor Swift*

POP CULTURE

Social Star of 2018
Amanda Cerny
Jenna Marbles
Lele Pons
Shane Dawson*
The Dolan Twins

Beauty Influencer of 2018 
Bretman Rock
Brooklyn and Bailey
Jackie Aina
James Charles*
NikkieTutorials

Social Celebrity of 2018 
BTS*
Chrissy Teigen
Ellen DeGeneres
Selena Gomez
Taylor Swift

Animal Star of 2018 
April the Giraffe
Cole & Marmalade
Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund*
Gone to the Snow Dogs
Lil Bub

Comedy Act of 2018 
Ali Wong
Amy Schumer
Kevin Hart*
Marlon Wayans
Tiffany Haddish

Style Star of 2018 
Beyoncé
Blake Lively
Emma Watson
Harry Styles*
Zendaya

Game Changer of 2018  (Category for athletes who made a social/professional impact)
Aly Raisman
Colin Kaepernick
Cristiano Ronaldo
Nia Jax
Serena Williams*

Pop Podcast of 2018 
“Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith”
“Anna Faris Is Unqualified”
“Chicks in the Office”
“The Ladygang”
“Scrubbing In With Becca Tilley & Tanya Rad”*

2018 CMA Awards: Brad Paisley, Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton, Lauren Alaina, Mavis Staples, Ricky Skaggs added to lineup

November 9, 2018

The following is a press release from the Country Music Association and ABC:

Lauren Alaina, Brad Paisley, Ricky Skaggs, and Chris Stapleton with Maren Morris and Mavis Staples have been added as performers for “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards,” as well as just added special appearances by Lindsay Ell, Vince Gill, Sierra Hull, Chris Janson, Ashley McBryde, David Lee Murphy, Jon Pardi, Carson Peters, Marty Stuart and Cole Swindell. Country Music’s Biggest Night, hosted for the 11th consecutive year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, will air live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, November 14 (8:00–11:00 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network.

Previously announced performers for the CMA Awards include Jason Aldean with Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley with Brothers Osborne, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line with Bebe Rexha, Midland, Kacey Musgraves, Old Dominion, Pistol Annies, Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Brett Young. Presenters will be announced next week.

Alaina is a two-time CMA Awards nominee. She returns this year with a nomination for New Artist of the Year.

Ell made her CMA Awards performance debut in 2016, playing guitar during Underwood’s all-female performance of “Dirty Laundry.”

Gill is a 54-time CMA Awards nominee and 18-time winner. He holds the record for most wins in the Song of the Year category. He is also tied for most wins in the Male Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year (previously Vocal Event of the Year) categories. He returns this year with his 12th nomination for Musical Event of the Year.

Hull, McBryde and Peters will all make their CMA Awards performance debut at “The 52ndAnnual CMA Awards.”

Janson is a first-time CMA Awards nominee, receiving nominations in the Music Video of the Year and Song of the Year categories for “Drunk Girl,” as well as New Artist of the Year. This year marks his performance debut on the CMA Awards stage.

Morris is a 10-time CMA Awards nominee, receiving her first win in 2016 for New Artist of the Year. She returns this year with her third Female Vocalist of the Year nomination and second Musical Event of the Year nomination for “Dear Hate” with Vince Gill.

Paisley is a 14-time CMA Awards winner, including a win for the coveted Entertainer of the Year award. He is also the current record holder for most wins (4) in the Music Video of the Year category and tied as the record holder for most Musical Event of the Year wins (4).

Pardi is a two-time CMA Awards nominee, taking home his first win in 2017 for New Artist of the Year.

Skaggs is a five-time CMA Awards winner with 21 career nominations. He received his first CMA Awards nomination in 1982 when he was nominated for both the Horizon Award, which recognized new artists, and the coveted Entertainer of the Year award. Additionally, Skaggs was nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year and Single of the Year, winning the Horizon Award and Male Vocalist of the Year award. Skaggs was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame last month.

R&B/Gospel legend Staples, previously of the group The Staple Singers, continues to carry on her family’s name as a solo artist. This year marks Staples’ CMA Awards debut. The Staple Singers were nominated for Album of the Year in 1994.

Stapleton is a seven-time CMA Awards winner with 16 total career nominations. He is the reigning Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year winner. He returns this year as the most nominated artist of the night with nods in the Album of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year and Song of the Year categories.
Stuart is a seven-time CMA Awards nominee, bringing home his first award in 1992 for Vocal Event of the Year. He has performed at the CMA Awards twice before including “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” in 1989 and “Mandolin Rain” in 1996.

Swindell, a two-time CMA Awards nominee, first took the CMA Awards stage in 2014, the same year he was nominated for New Artist of the Year.
“The 52nd Annual CMA Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the executive producer; Gary Halvorson is the director, and David Wild is the head writer.

For more information on “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards,” please visit CMAawards.com and follow CMA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Fans can listen to music featuring the CMA Awards nominees and performers, on Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, and Vevo. To celebrate “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards,” the official merchandise line featuring tees, sweatshirts and other gifts is now available online.

About CMA Awards
The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast for the first time – making it the longest-running, annual music awards program on network television. The CMA Awards have aired on ABC since 2006. ABC is the network home of the CMA Awards and CMA’s other two television properties, “CMA Fest” and “CMA Country Christmas.”

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November 13, 2018 UPDATE: Eric Church has been added to the lineup of performers.